Abdul Naushad, President and CEO
Banking is becoming cutting-edge day-by-day. Yet, one aspect of international banking remains outdated. For most of the nearly four-decade-old history of digital transactions, cross-border payment settlements over traditional banking networks have been painfully slow. Taking two- to-three days on average to finalize settlements with zero visibility into the payment status in-transit, international payments further tend to make things worse with high service fees levied on foreign exchange (forex) transactions. On top of that, bank-to-bank payments, or even international financial services entities like Western Union and MoneyGram, come with their own set of time restrictions on money transfers. Coupled with differences in time zones and unexpected delays in payment clearing owing to holidays in the intervening countries, cross-border payments have become a hard nut to crack.
In such a scenario of limited settlement options, Buckzy Payments is shining a blazing ray of light in modernizing the legacy business model of international payment settlements across all digital channels. Catering to traditional banks, digital-only neobanks, and fintechs, Buckzy adds value by offering super-fast global payments and banking services 24/7, 365 days a year, with significant cost reduction through its blockchain-enabled platform.
“We are a FinTech firm focused on enabling a real-time cross-border payment settlement network, integrated into a next-generation embedded finance platform delivering Banking-as-a- Service,” says Abdul K Naushad, president and CEO of Buckzy Payments.
Buckzy’s near real-time cross-border settlements with a turnaround time of less than two minutes are setting new heights in the world of international transactions. Not limited to just bank-to-bank transfers, Buckzy is also enabling bank-to-wallet transfers through digital mobile wallets like Alipay in China, GCash in Philippines and M-Pesa in Africa. Buckzy is taking this one step further with an integration strategy with 30+ wallets, including Alipay as mentioned, as well as PayTM, M-Pesa and others. As a plus, Buckzy brings absolute transparency to transactions by providing spot rates on forex that lowers transaction fees.
Buckzy’s offers a number of add-on services like forex services and treasury and cash management to SMEs – something that traditional banks offer only to large enterprises. Additionally, Buckzy’s powerful platform is built to withstand the load of running multiple ecosystems like different traditional banks, neobanks, and fintechs at the same time. Finally, the key differentiator for Buckzy is its platform’s ability to offer compatible modules with à la carte services that clients can pick and choose to onboard as per their needs.
The Journey to Faster International Transactions
Buckzy’s journey to becoming the one-stop-shop for new-age banking services began in 2019. Being in the cross-border payments business for the last 15 years, Naushad is well-acquainted with the challenges financial institutions and corporate customers face in making faster settlements and tracking their international payments. He realized that while governments around the world are progressively pushing real-time cross-country settlements to increase the velocity of trade, there was no such initiative for cross-border settlements. The eureka moment was when Naushad came up with the idea to transpose real-time settlement capabilities on cross-border payments – an idea that has predictably generated tremendous interest with financial institutions looking to transition to a faster payment settlement model.
Today, Buckzy’s real-time cross-border settlement solution comes with two products – the pay-out network in 37 countries and the pay-in network in 32 countries. The pay-out network allows Buckzy to push payments into bank accounts, digital wallets, debit or prepaid cards across the globe.
The pay-in option enables Buckzy to collect payments in domestic currencies on behalf of clients in different countries in accordance with domestic payment rates and collection schemes and move them to customers’ accounts in the currency of their locations.
The recent addition to Buckzy’s product portfolio is banking-as-a-service, which offers multicurrency bank accounts in 13 currencies like USD, CAD, GBP, Euro, Brazilian Real, Mexican Peso, and so on. “Banking-as-a-Service1 is a multi-tiered banking platform where we are able to offer banking services and bank accounts to our customers and our customers’ customers,” informs Naushad. Explaining further, he gives a scenario where a Singapore-based bank might set up a USD account on Buckzy’s platform and simultaneously sets up USD accounts for their own customers. To enable such arrangements, Buckzy creates subaccounts for the bank’s customers under the bank’s multicurrency accounts that provide real-time visibility into balances and payment status. Additionally, Buckzy has also included wallet accounts on its platform that can accommodate 60 currencies.
We are a FinTech firm focused on enabling a real-time cross-border payment settlement network, integrated into next-generation embedded finance platform delivering a Banking-as-a-Service
As a unique offering, Buckzy provides special administrative tools to financial institutions that enable them to not only gain real-time visibility into cross-border payment status through a dashboard providing KPIs and metrics, but also to lock-in forex rates on the platform. With the option to lock a certain exchange rate for a few days, Buckzy assists financial institutions in mitigating the effects of the volatility of forex rates.
Paving the Way to Banking Innovation
Buckzy’s client onboarding process is streamlined by their compliance team that runs routine checks on them to ensure their prospective clients are compliant with both regional and international regulatory policies. Once the compliance team gives the green light, Buckzy enables the clients to integrate with their platform and build their own user experience (UX) for specific payment transfer use cases through over 150 APIs. Prior to going live, Buckzy allows clients to test out the integrations and provides the option to self-certify their apps. Once clients are satisfied with the test run results, Buckzy takes over the backend operations to push the UXs into production by deploying automated mechanisms.
As an instance of enabling neobanks to serve their customers, Naushad recounts assisting an India-based neobank in providing multicurrency bank accounts and debit cards to students going out of India to study in the US, Canada, and so on. Now, students can pay their tuition fees and take care of their month-to-month expenses directly from their multicurrency bank accounts back in India by withdrawing money in USD or CAD – all within a matter of few minutes. This helps them save 30-40 percent of the costs in transferring money across borders through the traditional banking routes. In yet another successful application of Buckzy’s solutions, a UK-based neobank catering to SMEs was able to deliver real-time cross-border payment transfer capabilities to their chiefly international clients by running multicurrency subaccounts on Buckzy’s platform. This mitigated the time-consuming hassle of obtaining banking licenses to operate outside the UK and eased the burden of expenses in building and maintaining an in-house platform supporting subaccounts. Offering subaccounts in three currencies – USD, CAD, and GBP – Buckzy’s platform helped the neobank massively scale its business.
Fueled by such impressive success, Buckzy has onboarded more than 20 neobanks on its platform. Growing along with clients, Buckzy is experiencing tremendous revenue scale with high demand from several financial institutions across the globe. Currently in the midst of a planned expansion drive, the Toronto-headquartered firm is gearing up to extend its global footprint. It has established operations in US, UK, UAE, and India over the past year, and is eyeing markets in Singapore, Japan, Hong Kong, and Mainland China in Asia, and Brazil, New Mexico, Chile, Peru, and Guatemala in Latin America.
Buckzy is preparing to launch direct-to-card money transfers and intends to augment its blockchain-powered embedded finance platform with AI and ML to help support its upcoming compliance product and customer service solution. “We will be adding a lot of components to our platform to make it a very modern next-generation solution that can support complex use cases,” Naushad concludes.